It’s only Monday, and I’m looking toward the middle of the week already, like a good Catholic should. This hump day, is Ash Wednesday, signifying the official end of Mardi Gras season. It means the Easter bunny is right around the corner!
If you have not had your fill of King cake yet, here’s one last bite for you to enjoy before you lower your sugar intake for Lent! Take a gander at my King Cake cookies. They’re a bite size version of the now famous pastry; better yet, you can eat the whole dang batch without finding a plastic baby inside.
I went nuts with the sprinkles…maybe like a good Catholic should. Here’s the religious history behind the world famous dessert.
Mardi Gras season begins on January 6th, the “Twelfth Night”, known to Christians as the Epiphany. Epiphany loosely translates from the Greek word “to show”, and has to do with the Three Kings (and the world!) seeing baby Jesus for the first time. This is why King cake is decorated with the royal colors of gold for power, green for faith and purple for justice.
King cake is thought to have originated as a pastry created in France and brought to New Orleans in the late 1800s. Which reminds me of my Mardis Gras tradition. My grandmother created donut Tuesday to remind us of one last day of sweet eating before we children gave up our sweets for Lent. Those donuts were fried puffs of light and airy dough covered in powder sugar that stuck to your fingers when you popped one in your mouth.
These cookies are a bit of a reminder of those donuts, while paying tribute to King cake. They’re easy to bake and FUN to eat! Enjoy!!
King Cake Cookies
Makes 8 to 10 (4-inch) cookies
30 minute cuisine
If you don’t have a King Cake in your future, you might just give these cookies a try!
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon lemon extract
6 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon lemon extract
Sugar sprinkles in yellow, purple and green
Preheat the oven to 375°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
Stir together milk, ½ teaspoon vanilla and ¼ teaspoon lemon extracts in a small bowl.
Use an electric mixer to combine the butter with the granulated sugar until pale and fluffy, about 1 minute. Mix in the egg. With the motor set on low speed, add half of the flour and half of the liquid. When this is combined, stir in the remaining flour ending with the liquid. Use a 1 ½ -inch ice cream scoop to drop the dough onto the baking sheets. Bake until the cookies just begin to brown on the edges, about 15 minutes. The cookies will be domed and cake-like. Cool the cookies on racks.
Use a whisk to stir together confectioners’ sugar with 3 tablespoons milk and ¼ teaspoon vanilla and ¼ teaspoon lemon extracts until smooth. Dip the cooled cookies in the glaze and set back onto a rack. Place parchment or waxed paper under the rack. Sprinkle the glaze with your favorite sprinkles making sure to use yellow, purple and green!